AT THE CENTER
RELATED RESOURCES: CENTRAL ASIA
Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil, and Fundamentalism in Central Asia
January 1, 2000
Journalist Ahmed Rashid presents a behind-the-scenes account of the rise of the Afghan Taliban. Rashid employs a wide geopolitical and historical lens, coupled with rare personal interviews with the Talibans enigmatic leadership, in order to explain both the internal politics of the movement as well as the larger structural forces which allowed the fundamentalist organization to seize control of a traditionally moderate nation. Rashid sees little indigenous support for the Talibans ideology and blames US Cold-War economic support for the Talibans precipitous rise to power. Written before the American invasion, Rashids account is prescient: he reasons that internal instability in Afghanistan threatens the resource interests of both the United States and its neighbors and predicts that Taliban control of Afghanistan is unsustainable.